by Laurie Jakobsen
Most people get understandably nervous about media interviews. It’s important to recognize that your body will probably have an adrenalized response – you will talk faster, and things around you will feel slower. So you need to remind yourself to breathe and slow yourself down, so you can better control your reactions (this is even more important for radio and TV). I always tell people that if they’ve been on a job interview or a first date, they already have a good sense of how to handle a media interaction – and here are my “nine plus bonus” rules to guide you.
First rule: an interview is a transactional conversation – not a friendly chat. Like any other negotiation, you want to reach a win-win with the journalist, but you need to have a specific focus on the key messages you want to get across. Remember that you are in control of what you say – you are not giving all control over to the reporter; this is not a deposition. You have something they want: a good story. That is what you need to deliver: on your terms, not theirs.